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When you work in the sex industry, every shift is Date Night, meaning that you have to prepare as if you’re getting ready for a hot date with someone you really want to impress. It’s a chore, but it must be done. It’s professionalism. You get paid, in part, to look good. Most of the clients are middle-aged, middle-class white guys. They have very narrow and predictable opinions about what constitutes feminine beauty and glamour.
The good news is that beauty can be faked with an exaggerated performance of femininity, which means that any woman can do it.
The bad news is…well, it’s expensive, tedious, time-consuming, and debasing. But whatevs. I’ll save the politics for another day.
Here are some indispensable tools to achieve and maintain compliance with heteronormative beauty standards in the commercial dungeon environment (and anywhere else):
|Cool and Dry, like Donald Rumsfeld testifying at a 9-11 Congressional Hearing|
Certain Dri. I don’t know what’s in this shit and I don’t want to know. It burns like acid and it probably causes birth defects. It is, however, effective: if you wear it, you will not sweat under your arms (I’ve considered trying it other places, but I’m too afraid). I do not exaggerate. Public speaking? NYC Subways in July? Cross-dressing client cokehead who keeps asking you to crank up the heat because he’s cold in his satin panties? Certain Dri has you covered. Highly recommended. Get the roll-on, not the stick. Added bonus: no white deodorant streaks on your good black domme clothes.
|You’ll thank me later.|
Tend Skin If you shave or wax your crotch (I was going to say ‘bikini area,’ but, really, why be coy?), you need Tend Skin. This miracle product eliminates bumps, ingrown hairs, and irritation from razor burn. It really works, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever tried that does. You don’t need me to tell you how painful and ugly a crotch with ingrown public hairs can be! It’s hideous and even wearing underwear hurts! One time, I thought I must have caught genital warts (and I was in a monogamous relationship at the time, too–oh wow), but it was just a stupid hair. Anyway, I’ve been using this for a few years now, and I haven’t had a problem since. I have no idea why more people don’t know about it. They market it to the African-American community, which is how I discovered it.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Unless it’s a special occasion, I refuse to pay a pro to do my nails. I have to fix chipped polish almost every day. Seche Vite takes most of the pain out of this considerable inconvenience. It’s expensive, but worth it. It cures to a hard, high-gloss shine in a minute. I will never wait for my nails to dry again. I recommend buying this in the tiny bottles, so that you can finish the product before it becomes thick and difficult to apply.
|Meet your new best friend.|
The Ped Egg Your feet are worth a lot of money in this business. You will lose sessions if your feet are not in perfect shape. Not only will you lose sessions, but the angry Russian manager will scream at you and call you a disgrace as a mistress. I’m serious. Get yourself a Ped Egg and make friends with it, because you’re going to be spending a lot of quality time together…especially in the summertime, when you run around New York in flip-flops and sandals. Use it over a trash can so you don’t get gross dead skin flakes all over. When you’re done Ped-Egging, slather your feet in vasaline before bed and sleep in a pair of old socks.
All-Metal Razor w/Mach 3 Blades Do yourself a favor and stop shaving with cheap pink plastic disposable razors. If you have to shave most of your body hair every day for the rest of your life, you might as well get serious about it. Men have the best shaving gear. Appropriate it. An all-metal razor is an investment, but it saves money in the long run. The shave is excellent and the weight of the tool lends a gravitas to the activity, turning it from a chore into self-care.
Maybelline NY Eye Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner. This is the best liquid eyeliner you can get at the drug store. It works perfectly and lasts until you wash it off. Application is as easy as it’s ever going to get with liquid eyeliner. Everyone I know who tries it keeps using it.
Alpha Hydrox Skin Lightener w/Hydroquinone I was on hormonal birth control for ten years, and it gave me mild melasma. I am fucking furious that doctors don’t tell women that this is a side effect when they prescribe the medication (“Melasma is a very common and well-known side affect! I see it all the time!” said the dermatologist who diagnosed me. “I mean, it’s textbook!“). Hydroquinone and Retin-A cured it in about nine months. It takes a long time to see results, because the skin has to go through a few cycles, but it works. Now I use it on my hands, underneath sunscreen, every day. You are wearing sunscreen every day, aren’t you?
Berkshire Stockings and Thigh-Highs. Under no circumstances are you to wear cheap Leg Avenue shit from the local Adult DVD porn store! You know exactly what I’m talking about! Leg Avenue is terrible! I have no idea how they cornered the sex worker market! Berkshire is the best hosiery on the market at that price point. It looks much more expensive than it is, actually, and the material has a nice slippery feel. Good color selection. It costs less to buy it online, but if you need to get it in a hurry, the hosiery/intimates store in Penn Station, Elegance, has a deep stock in all colors.
Crest Whitestrips. Because you’re not a real American unless your teeth are as white as the inside of a refrigerator. The strips work.